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|Illini Makes Northwestern Bowl-Eligible
|CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Mike Kafka threw for 305 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and Sherrick McManis made a last-minute interception to preserve Northwestern's 21-16 win Saturday over Illinois.
Zeke Markshausen had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown to help Northwestern (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) all but assure itself of going to a second straight bowl game.
Jacob Charest made his first start, but was benched at halftime in favor of Eddie McGee before returning to lead the Illini (3-7, 2-6) to two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Charest completed 14 of 27 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions, including the one that ended Illinois' bid for bowl eligibility following a 1-6 start.
Northwestern hasn't been to consecutive bowls since going to the Rose and Citrus following the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)